Comics Take the Spotlight at the Library of Awesome

Timed to coincide with this weekend’s Awesome Con here in Washington, DC, the Library of Congress is embracing its geeky side with its Library of Awesome pop-up exhibit. The exhibit will only be open to the public from today through Saturday (June 14-17), but if you’re local to DC or will be in town for the con, you really should plan a quick trip to the Library to check it out.

The pop-up exhibit features more than 100 items from the Library’s impressive comic arts collection, including – no exaggeration – millions of dollars worth of comic books. What most people don’t realize is that the collections of the Library of Congress include nearly 140,000 comic books dating back to the 1930s, and almost all of them are available to researchers.

It should also be noted that the priceless collection on display for the Library of Awesome isn’t behind plexiglass or in bullet-proof display cases. They’re simply laid out on a series of tables, and you can get tantalizingly close to them.

“Comic books attract fans and collectors of all ages. What many people might not know is that the Library of Congress is a collector as well,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “We have the world’s largest collection of comic books, and I am so pleased we can share some of them during this special display. I hope this experience will inspire visitors to further explore our collections and discover other surprises.”

On display is an impressive variety of issues that really span the years. Milestone issues such as Batman #1, Superman #1, Amazing Fantasy #15, and The Avengers #1 are all there. As are other important issues representing characters such as Luke Cage, Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, and many many more.

Tables are organized by theme: Wonder Woman, Milestones, Marvel, DC, Children’s Comics, and Science Fiction Comics.

The Wonder Woman table is particularly interesting since they’ve paired issues of the comic that took on social issues with related items from the Library’s vast collection. So in addition to some amazing Wonder Woman art, you also get handwritten pages from Clara Barton and Amelia Earhart’s handprint.

I was live at the media preview of the exhibit, so if you’re looking for a complete walkthrough – AS IF YOU WERE ACTUALLY THERE – then you’re in luck! Enjoy…

Reminder of two very important events. The first is this Friday when Lynda Carter, star of the 1970s Wonder Woman television series, will be interviewed by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. Carter will discuss how her legendary character empowered generations of girls and boys. Tickets are available at this website, and the interview will be live-streamed on the Library’s Facebook page at facebook.com/libraryofcongress and its YouTube channel at youtube.com/LibraryOfCongress.

Also: GeekDad will host a panel at Awesome Con on Sunday (Father’s Day). Be sure to stop by Room 149 at 1:30 for the festivities!

GeekDad Celebrates Father’s Day: Raising Geek Generation 2.0

Join some of the writers from GeekDad.com to discuss raising the next generation of geeks. They’ll talk about introducing various fandoms to kids, sharing old and new geeky passions with kids, and choosing which things are appropriate for different ages. Some of them may even be joined by their kids who will discuss what it’s like growing up geek. Come for the unabashed geekery, stay for some great surprises! Join in the conversation and bring your own experiences and questions! June 18 at 1:30pm – Room 149.

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